Spell for Grief or Letting Go

Adequate tears twisting up directly from the heart and rung out across the vocal chords until only a gasp remains;

At least an hour a day spent staring at the truth in numb silence;

A teacup of whiskey held with both hands, held still under the whispers of permission from friends who can see right through ‘ok’ and ‘fine’;

An absence of theory;

Flight, as necessary;

Poetry, your own and others, on precipice, abandonment, nature and death;

Courage to say what has happened, however strangling the words are…and space to not say a word;

A brief dance with sugar, to honor the legacies of coping that got you this far;

Sentences spoken with total pragmatism that provide clear guidance of some direction to move in, full of the tender care and balance of choice and not having to choose;

Screaming why, and/or expressing fury at the stupid unfair fucking game of it all (this may include hours and hours, even lifetimes, of lost faith);

Laughter, undeniable and unpretended;

A walk in the world, all that gravity, with breath and heartbeat in your ears;

Fire, for all that can be written;

Moonlight – the more full the more nourishing;

Stories, ideally of coincidence and heartache and the sweetest tiny moments;

Time, more time and then more time…enough time to remember every moment you had with that one now taken from you, and to forget to think of it every moment;

And just a glimpse of tomorrow, either in the face of an innocent or the realization of a dream.

This is a nonlinear spell. Cast it inside your heart, cast it between yourself and any devil. Cast it into the parts of you still living.

Remember you are water. Of course you leave salt trails. Of course you are crying.


P.S. If there happens to be a multitude of griefs upon you, individual and collective, or fast and slow, or small and large, add equal parts of these considerations:
– that the broken heart can cover more territory.
– that perhaps love can only be as large as grief demands.
– that grief is the growing up of the heart that bursts boundaries like an old skin or a finished life.
– that grief is gratitude.
– that water seeks scale, that even your tears seek the recognition of community.
– that the heart is a front line and the fight is to feel in a world of distraction.
– that death might be the only freedom.
– that your grief is a worthwhile use of your time.
– that your body will feel only as much as it is able to.
– that the ones you grieve may be grieving you.
– that the sacred comes from the limitations.
– that you are excellent at loving.

Author: Adrienne

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your uprising against the forces of darkness has got to do more than say "no." A fierce, primal yes should be at the heart of your crusade. (rob brezny, long ago)

14 thoughts on “Spell for Grief or Letting Go”

  1. Powerful and beautiful. Many truths of ones self embedded in these words. Thank you. May I repost this perhaps on my web site? Full credit will be given to you.

  2. thank you- my beloved best lifelong friend just died- and I hurt. most advice only makes it worse. a fb connection sent this to me and I feel is strength and authenticity. strong medicine. peace to your heart too, for surely you know this path.

  3. Thank you so much for this poem! I have never been able to put words to my grief until now. I’ve never fully been able to express my needs around my grief until now. Thank you for bringing words to this process.

  4. I am hoping a comment here might reach you and be the least disruptive way to do so! Writing to request permission to read this aloud with attribution in a UU online worship service that will occur on Zoom as well as being Live streamed to (and therefore recorded by) Facebook.

  5. this came back to me as a much need reminder for me today. Wondering if I can translate it to spanish to share with my family? If there isn’t one already translated.

  6. I have come back to this so many times. Somehow it hits the same yet anew every time. Tonight I’m returning to it to share it with a friend currently going through a breakup and reflecting on how not long ago I was in the same boat he is. And here I am, still grieving in some small way as I always will, but time, time and more time really does help. And so do words. So thanks 🙂

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